Yes, conservatives lost on November 4, 2008, but it wasn’t conservatism that was rejected. Likewise, it wasn’t progressivism/liberalism/socialism that was approved.
Blame it on the general public? Yes, certainly. Barack Obama shouldn’t have expected this electorate to choose him president any more than the socialists Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas once did.
In sum, liberals need to understand this reality. Their guy got a major victory on November 4, but not a left-wing mandate.
The only remaining questions are to what degree Obama continues the push to the left, and precisely how much of the electorate is against him.